Instagram for Android vs. Instagram for iPhone: Can you see the difference?

Instagram's developers hinted their new Android app might be better than their existing iPhone app. So is it, and if so, how?

While over 15 Million iPhone users have enjoyed the social photo sharing app, Instagram, for quite some time, just today Instagram for Android hit the Google Play Store. Over 430,000 Android users had registered to be notified about the app's release, and the developers even hinted it might back a few features iPhone users were without. So does it?

First off, a few tabs look a little different between the Android and iPhone versions of Instagram, and the layout has been adopted to fit the Android screen format, but noticeably missing are the tilt shift and circle blur options. Some social features are missing as well, namely Flickr and Posterous.

There has been some reports of the Android version being slower than that of the iPhone version but, realistically that all depends on which Android device and which version of the Android OS it's being run on. For what it's worth, Instagram on Android is optimized to run best on Google's Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich builds, but it will run on anything Android 2.2 and above, though results may vary. Although there have been some compatibility problems, Instagram for Android has already been updated to address a few of them, though not the HTC One X.

Overall, the Instagram team did a great job of keeping mostly everything intact for their new found Android base and it will no doubt, become one of the top download in the Google Play Store despite the fact that Google and various other Android OEM's have been adding built-in filtering options to the Android camera application for quite some time now.

So what exactly were/are those features that would make the Android version of Instagram better than the iPhone version? No idea. The feature that makes both versions better is finally having a bigger device footprint for instapaper -- iPhone and Android users can share and like and comment on way more photos by way more mobile photographers than ever before. And that's a win for both platforms!

Chris Parsons

Editor-at-Large at Mobile Nations, gadget junkie, energy drinker, ranter.